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“Nice place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of South Pier Inn on the Canal

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South Pier Inn on the Canal
701 South Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 32 hotels in Duluth
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

Stayed here for one night in January. Had a canal view room. The room was warm; the fireplace was a nice touch. The only complaint I would have is the blinds do not close properly and the lights for the bridge are very bright. They really need to look into different window coverings. The room was clean. And even though we were close the bridge the noise from bridge traffic was quiet.

Room Tip: The room we were in was right next to the lift bridge. The blinds didn't close properly so the...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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221 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Inn in the shadow of the Aerial Lift Bridge
Pros:
Queen size bed, refrigerator, desk, flat screen tv, balcony looking out on the parking lot
Large bathroom
Free continental breakfast
Cons:
Outside entrance to rooms (had to go outside to visit a friend at the end of the building)
Very small lobby

If only it could have been a little warmer...
It was -23°F before wind chill was factored in...

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

When I stayed at South Pier Inn, everything from my comfort and relaxation, to my actual experience of the Port of Duluth, was taken taken care in style. The innkeepers have done this neat trick of providing all the usual amenities of luxury--bathrobes, slippers, natural bath products, whirlpool tubs, balconies, fireplaces, and views--without a lot of fanfare and clutter, so there is ample room to spread out and relax. If you want privacy, you've got it, but if you want to enjoy coffee and pastries with the owners in the cozy lobby, that's there, too. The port side experience offers what the big lake cannot, like intimacy with shipping traffic (you can spy on ore boat captains as they maneuver into port, with the handy binoculars on your window shelf), exquisite ice formations in winter, birdwatching, the town lighting up at night--it all seems to be within reach. Great restaurants are a short walk away, across the bridge, and there's a room fridge for your doggie bag. Book an extra night if you can.

Room Tip: The rooms facing the lift bridge offer a dazzling architectural experience, and are exceptionally cl...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midwest
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

First time at South Pier Inn; stayed in a parking-lot facing balcony room. Our main purpose in visiting Duluth was skiing so we just wanted something inexpensive, clean, and quiet. South Pier fit all of these requirements nicely: the room was a step above basic--clean, bright, quiet, just enough space. Decor/furnishings are clean in design which makes the room seem larger than it is. Balcony would have been nice to use in warmer weather. Bathroom looked spotlessly clean except for one easily remedied problem: the wallpaper above the bathtub was mildewed where it met the shower surround. Otherwise, I didn't see any mildew in the bathroom. Also, parking seemed tight: the hotel had vacancies for both of the nights we stayed but both nights, we got the very last parking spot when we returned from dinner. If the hotel was full, I'm not sure where we would have parked.

Room Tip: Some of the parking-lot facing rooms have a view of the aerial lift bridge. If you're not spendi...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We've stayed at the South Pier Inn before, and with it being winter, decided to return. This hotel is not cheap, and they don't negotiate their rates, so don't stay here if you're on a budget (we had the Canal View whirlpool suite, $177/night). What they do offer is a clean, well maintained property, and a very relaxing stay. Situated just over the Arrowhead bridge from Canal Park, it is walking distance from everything in Canal Park and downtown. After walking around outside in the cold weather, it's so nice to come back to our room and enjoy a beverage I the hot tub while looking out at the canal. The beds are comfortable, and the hotel is nice and quiet so it's a very restful place to stay. Breakfast is fruit, yogurt, and a variety of pastries from a local bakery (the donuts are VERY good!). Looking forward to our next visit here.

Room Tip: We like the canal view room since we can see the ships go under the Arrowhead bridge not 100' fr...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

This is a review from the HSP (highly sensitive person, google Elaine Aron's work if you don't know it.) point of view:

Room was relaxing and simple in it's arrangement, which was up a flight of stairs. Peaceful setting with the fireplace. The place was clean and well tended. Sheets were soft and fragrance free. No smelly cleaners were in the air. Sadly, I am super allergic to dogs and cats so I very much appreciate knowing they do not stay in these rooms.

Canal side room has an unparallelled view of the bridge and the canal. Keep in mind that is not such a big thing if no ships pass by; then it's just a view of a channel. One of the only thoughtful marks of my interaction with the front desk staff was getting help reading the ship schedule that they had printed and handy. There were about 3 ships a day while we were there, none of which we were around to see unfortunately. If I stay here again, I will plan my time to be able to see at least one ship move through the canal and right past the Inn.

Also, at least half of the rooms face in the direction of the canal and bridge which is noisy. Cars make a distinctive noise as they cross it and if you are sound sensitive you WILL notice this. Do not know if it is as audible on the "neighborhood side." BTW-that means you look at the parking lot.

Breakfast had a range of low sugar carbs, no higher protein foods. Coffee, tea and juice options offered too.

If you need/want darkness to sleep, bring a sleep mask if you are in a canal/bridge facing room. The waterfront is rather lit up and the vertical blinds do not keep out the light.

Just across the street is public access to walk the beach of Park Point which is fantastic in all seasons. The ice shelves in the winter are pretty amazing to see. Of course Canal Park is
just over the bridge going the other direction. Another friend got a room right in Canal Park 30% less than the rate here, so it is work checking around. Either way, at the Inn we parked the car and didn't use it at much during our stay because we
and could easily walk to a lot of great spots.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

Beautiful suite and very clean. The suite has a panoramic view and a nice balcony. South Pier is next to the Canal Bridge and it's an awesome sight at night. If you're lucky you might see the bridge rise and a ship pass through it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about South Pier Inn on the Canal

Address: 701 South Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Duluth
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Duluth
#2 Romantic Hotel in Duluth
#4 Family Hotel in Duluth
#15 Business Hotel in Duluth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the foot of the Aerial Lift Bridge adjacent to Canal Park, South Pier Inn is Duluth's premier shipwatching hotel. Our 20 waterfront suites each feature a whirlpool, fireplace and private balcony, offering breathtaking views of the Duluth harbor or ship canal. This family-owned property offers the amenities you'd expect in a much larger hotel, yet provides the level of service and attention to detail you'd only find in a smaller establishment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
South Pier Inn On The Canal Hotel Duluth
South Pier Duluth
South Pier Inn Duluth

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